A huge blast has rocked central Paris, setting buildings and cars alight and reportedly injuring a number of people. The explosion happened on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement commercial district on Saturday morning at around 9am local time (8pm AEDT). The cause of the blast was given as a gas leak and sources told French media it was being considered as accidental.
Photographs circulating on social media show several historic buildings alight, their windows blown out, and debris spread across the streets.
Police cars and dozens of fire-fighting trucks are parked along the streets, and abandoned bicycles, rubbish bins and building materials have been spread across central streets. Police are yet to confirm the suspected cause of the blast or any casualties but pictures show firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and evacuate some people from the building using ladders.
Emergency workers also treated some of the injured at the scene. A Paris police spokeswoman said several injuries have been reported to police but no deaths.
The explosion came amid heavy security in Paris and around France for more yellow vest protests expected later on Saturday. Images posted on Twitter showed debris covering the street and the lower part of the building blown out and on fire.
— matthieucroissandeau (@croissandeau) January 12, 2019